NBA

Suns new player preview: Josh Okogie is a high-energy version of Elfrid Payton

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Bench guard play for the Phoenix Suns in the 2021-22 season left a lot to be desired, especially given the position’s lack of effectiveness in their playoff run. Suns bench guards shot 36.7% from the field in the 2022 NBA Playoffs. Of the 16 teams in the playoffs, this one ranked 14th. Their 30.2% from beyond the arc ranked 12th.

While Cameron Payne and Landry Shamet seem to have a stranglehold on the playmaker and shooting guard positions, respectively, James Jones has been looking to build depth beyond them this offseason.

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No more Elfrid Payton and Aaron Holiday.

The Suns welcome two new guards to the fray, one with championship experience in Damion Lee, and another who has spent his entire career in the frozen tundra of Minnesota.

You might not know much about Nigerian-born Okogie, known as ‘Non Stop’ because of his relentless energy. What you quickly learn is that he is a Stallworth defender who can help silence the opposition when called upon. If you are looking for a good backup shooter, you will have to rely on Landry Shamet to meet those expectations. That’s not who Josh Okogie is.

What else do you need to know about him? Good…

Josh Okgie

  • Position: Shooting Guard
  • Vitals: 6’4″, 213 pounds, 24 on Sept. 1
  • Experience: 5th NBA season
  • Statistics (2021-21 regular season): 2.7 points per game, 1.4 rebounds per game, 0.5 assists per game, 10.5 minutes played in 49 games (6 starts), 40.4% shooting from the pitch (49.1% 2PT, 29.8% 3PT).

Career overview

Born in Nigeria, Okogie came to the United States when he was three years old. He attended Georgia Tech and was named to the ACC All-Freshman Team along with Duke’s Jayson Tatum and Florida State’s Jonathan Issac. He remained at Georgia Tech for his second season, leading the team and scoring at 18.2 points per game.

He went on to enter the 2018 NBA draft. He was taken 20th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves and, seeing there was a vacancy at the shooting guard following Jimmy Butler’s departure from the Timberwolves, played 23.7 minutes per game in his rookie season. He started 52 of the 74 games he appeared in, averaging 7.7 points per game along with 2.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists.

Okogie has been a regular rotation player with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the past four seasons. Although he played 49 games last season, he became an end-of-the-bench option for Wolves in their 6-game playoff series against the Memphis Grizzlies. He only played 2 minutes in the series.

The greatest assets

Okogie made an impact early in his career as a player with unwavering energy. His former teammate Tyus Jones defined it as “through the roof”. Jones added: “He never stops, at both ends of the floor. Its engine is crazy. It’s something that will really help this team because it’s contagious.

The biggest weaknesses

The filming of Okogie leaves a lot to be desired. He’s a career 27.5% shooter from deep (yikes), and while he’s started 123 of the 244 games he’s appeared in, his career-high was a 2020 23-point performance against the Atlantas. Hawks.

Contract details

Josh Okogie will earn $1.9 million this season and will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season


Josh Okogie is a player known for bringing energy at all times, including in training. What he lacks in shooting ability, he makes up for with heart, grit and toughness on the basketball court. We will love him for it. And cringe with every jump. Is he Elfrid Payton 2.0?

We will find out soon enough.

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